The Anglican and the Catholic churches have announced that they have banned politicians from conducting fund-drives or making donations during their services, arguing it is one way of abetting corruption in Kenya.
This follows questions raised by the masses, a section of the political class and anti-graft activists over mind-boggling amounts of money donated by some politicians. While any measures aimed at discouraging graft practices in our country are laudable, determining which money is clean and which one is dirty poses a daunting task to the Church, an institution that is under mounting criticism for placing much premium on money than morality.
It shouldn’t escape our attention that in every mega scandal, there are small fishes playing the role of hatchet men or women for the big fishes. They disguise themselves as receptionists, hair-dressers or suppliers but their main objective is to do the bidding for the ravenous political class, depriving the populace a decent living.
What this means is that the monster of corruption is an intricate web involving those who would not appear as politicians and the real politicians, a fact which exposes the church as partial in this latest decree against politicians. If the politicians’ money is unholy, so should that of a policeman member of a church who extorts money from motorists; a school principal member of the congregation who embezzles school funds or a tenderpreneur who donates iron sheets or cements to the church.
The church’s moral high ground will remain questionable if they shun politicians’ money, but accepts donations from drug lords, child traffickers, con men and land grabbers who are not in the political arena but are silently pulling the strings from unknown locations. It will put the church in a situation where they will either set up their own anti-graft committees to determine and reject the morally decayed in the church or assume the role of God as the Biblically-stated supreme judge.
In a country where politicians have aided in building mega churches and donating parcels of land in the past, will it be morally upright for religious leaders to ban the same politicians from conducting harambees while still allowing their congregations to be housed in the same churches that were built by them? Will they bring down the church buildings; give the politicians back their parcels of land, iron sheets and cements?
It is immoral to benefit from what you denounce. Such a move will also require the church to remove the speck from its own eyes before pointing out the skeletons in the politicians’ cupboards, given past commissions of inquiries which implicated some churches as beneficiaries of land grabbing.
The church will also contend with the possibility of conducting a lifestyle audit about its leadership since we have religious leaders whose wealth are not commensurate to their income, let alone that of the church.
It is safe to say the public long lost hope in the church as an honest and true arbiter in the myriad challenges the country faces. This is not exonerating corrupt politicians from blame, but Christianity being the refuge for the afflicted and the hopeless, should, at every moment, champion justice and fairness.